After the foundation of the Institute for Mining in 1948 Prof. Wöhlbier was responsible for the field of geomechanics. With the increasing complexity of geotechnical constructions, a chair for Rock Mechanics was founded in 1971.

After an initially rock-mechanical orientation, the utilization of salt caverns for storing liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons, starting in the seventies, as well as the increasingly occurring problems with structural stability in saliniferous mining resulted in a primarily salt mechanical orientation of the chair under Prof. Dreyer. With the appointment of Prof. Lux the field of tunnel and drift mining was added to this study and research focus. In addition, extensive research and advisory activities in the fields of salt cavern construction, tunneling, mining and landfill technology brought about continuous extensions of the fields covered in the chair’s research and teaching.

In 1992, this extension of activities was manifested in the official renaming of the former Chair for Rock Mechanics into the "Department for Geomechanics in Mining, Tunneling and Waste Disposal".
Parallel to the decreasing mining activities, especially mining of metal ores and coal mining in the Federal Republic of Germany, the number of students at the department for mining and raw materials has decreased over the last years. Due to the continuously increasing tasks involving an environmentally friendly disposal of industrial waste material, the current situation is characterized by efforts of equally important activities regarding the provision of the economy with raw materials and regarding the disposal of waste material produced by the modern industrial society. A new Chair for Disposal / Waste and Repository Technology was founded to cover the tasks induced by this duality. With the current restructuring of the faculty, the setup of a study course “Environmental Engineering” and the creation of a Chair for Waste Disposal and Geomechanics, further prerequisites for a concentration of the study and research contents in the field of utilization and depositing of residual and waste materials were finally manifested.

The illustration shows the restructuring of the faculty with the fusion of the Institute for Processing of Raw Materials and Residues and the Institute for Geomechanics in Mining, Tunneling and Waste Disposal Technology.


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